Minnesota wins


On Pharyngula PZ Meyers reports that:

It’s nothing but good news for biology from the Minnesota legislature this week. The Intelligent Design creationists’ amendment to the state science standards went down in flames.

Read more at Pharyngula


Okay, so it’s not *directly* related, but it’s funny. Check out http://www.intelligentdesignnetwork[…]/TheRule.PDF –“The Rule,” a one-act play that dramatizes ID’s plight in the world–in the form of a smart, innocent high school biology teacher wedged between evolutionists and ACLU lawyers. “Treason! Blasphemy!” And that’s from the scientitians.

Well I looked for the author’s name on “The Rule” and to my surprise it wasn’t Jack Chick. Wasn’t funny neither.

Tom Curtis

Yeah, I agree with Tom. It’s not funny.

I might take a stab at a little rewrite which touches upon the essential examination of the “who” and “why” behind these ID shenanigans.

That is fertile ground for humor, indeed.

There’s a three-act play based upon “The Rule” too…

And I have a review of it on Antievolution.org.

I can’t believe I just sat here and read that. I want back 3 minutes of my life.

It’s just like The Crucible!

Only… really, really awful. And not at all analogous to anything actually happening today.

But at least now we know what it would look like if Arthur Miller had cast the three girls screaming “Witch!” as the heroes of the piece.

The Discovery Institute claims victory. No mention of their puppet, Yecke, being dismissed.

Okay, so it’s only funny to the twisted, and for wasting your time, mea culpa–but it *is* similar, if not directly analogous. The lawyer for the school district is wary of a “Pandora’s Box” being opened if biology teachers are allowed to mention (scary music here) The Rule (methodological naturalism). Similarly, the DI claims “triumph” for allowing mere criticism of Darwinism (although I don’t see them advocating panspermia or Lamarckianism). It’s all there in The Wedge Document. http://www.discovery.org/csc/TopQue[…]edgeresp.pdf

Not directly related, but a recent minor event throws light on what ID mean by teaching the controversy. Steve Jones, a minor player in the ID movement, has resigned from that movement at the suggestion of Philip Johnson. Jones was a friend a Johnson, and his host when Johnson went to Perth, Western Australia. He has also been twice acknowledged as providing help by Dembski in different books. He was the fact checker for Denyse O’Leary’s recent book. http://www.arn.org/arnproducts/books/b088.htm

In addition, his discussion list includes as members several leaders of minor ID organisations, including (I believe) Casey Luskin of the IDEA Centers, not to mention Phil Skell, probably the only member of the NAS who is friendly to the ID movement. http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmg[…]s.php/id/754

In a recent post, Jones wrote:

I wish to announce that I have left the ID movement, my position having become increasingly untenable, due to my advocacy of of common ancestry within ID, it being finally suggested by Phil Johnson that I leave.

While the ID movement’s *official* position is that “intelligent design is compatible with … God seamlessly melding all organisms together into one great tree of life”: … in fact ID’s *real* position is that of the later Phil Johnson (see tagline), which is still heavily influenced by Biblical literalism, the earlier Phil Johnson himself in 1993 claiming that “The ‘evolution of human beings from apes’ is not an unacceptable hypothesis for me”: … but by 2002, common ancestry for Johnson had become (or maybe always was) “a fantastic proposition” (see tagline).


We should treat this summary with caution. Jones is notorious for misrepresenting, and misquoting the opinions of others. But it does appear that in Johnson’s opinion, while believing in common descent is acceptable, actually presenting the evidence for common descent is incompatible with being a member of the ID movement.

I believe this casts an illuminating light on the ID strategy of “teaching the controversy”.

Tom Curtis

I guess accepting common descent and saying so is just too much like theistic evolution to be accommodated in ID’s “big tent”.


If it were just that, Michael Behe would have “resigned” long ago. My guess is that an occasional admission of acceptance of common descent is OK at the Discovery Institute, as long as one spins enough vague arguments that the public can infer as denying it.

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on May 17, 2004 8:00 AM.

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